I know, I know. People are bummed about the Detroit Tigers start so far in 2017. Whether it’s overreacting to the bullpen (especially the closer) to most fans missing the boat on a very real issue with the team, the point is the squad has underwhelmed thus far. With an 18-18 record and two games back of the AL Central lead, Tigers fans are concerned. Fear not Tigers fans. Detroit is on the verge of a breakout stretch of winning baseball. Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why that is.
1. J.D. Martinez: Delivering
We have missed J.D. Martinez around these parts. Martinez is now back after a spring training injury and he is already contributing to the team. He’ll be counted on for some offense and he’s apparently ready to deliver.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 14, 2017
2. Health: Improving
In addition to J.D. Martinez being hurt at the beginning of the year, other Detroit Tigers struggled to get healthy. Miguel Cabrera missed ten games after reaggravating an injury from the World Baseball Classic. Jose Iglesias got dinged up attempting to turn a game-ending double play as well. JaCoby Jones took some high heat to the face. Even upstart Jim Adduci has hit the disabled list. Despite all of these injuries, the Tigers have managed to muscle through the lean times to a .500 record. The healthy lineup will now begin to pay dividends on the field.
3. Justin Wilson: Dealing
With the consumer confidence index for Francisco Rodriguez plummeting and his performance following that prognosis, it was time for a change at the closer spot. Manager Brad Ausmus has made his choice and it is none other than Justin Wilson. Wilson has been terrific thus far in the 8th inning. I see no reason why he shouldn’t continue that trend in the last frame. At the very least, the karmic shift is seismic and palpable with a fresh new face toeing the rubber in the 9th. All of Detroit is pulling for you, JWil. Time to get it done.